Over the years, Marketing and Communications has developed a preferred style for the punctuation and use of many titles and terms used throughout Seattle Children’s. In conjunction with our preferred style, we use the Associated Press style, which is considered the authoritative word for journalists on the rules of grammar, punctuation and usage. For medical references, we use Stedman’s Medical Dictionary for spelling of all diseases, disorders, syndromes, etc.

The Associated Press Stylebook can be purchased at major bookstores or ordered through the Associated Press, AP News features, 50 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020; it is also available as an online resource. Visit the Associated Press Stylebook.

Below is an alphabetical listing of style guidelines as they are applied when writing about Children’s.

All | # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There are currently 4 names in this directory beginning with the letter B.

Use “blind” (lowercase) when referring to a person without sight. Use “low vision” or “partially sighted” rather than “visually impaired.” Do not use “blind” by itself to refer to a group of people. Instead use “blind people,” “blind community,” etc. Use of “deaf-blind” is appropriate; capitalize when referring to a specific person or group of people. (e.g.,: “a fundraising event for the Deaf-Blind community”).


The general term “braille” is no longer capitalized.


One word, no hyphens. Also breastfed, breastfeeding and breastmilk.

Bullets (Bullet Points)

Use bullets only when they add to the readability of material. Don’t substitute a bullet when subheading is needed. Bullets should be used to introduce individual elements of a list. Capitalize the first word following the bullet. When each bulleted item is a complete sentence, capitalize the first letter and put a period at the end. Do not punctuate bulleted items that are not, by themselves, complete sentences. However, if the list is a mix of complete sentences and fragments, put a period at the end of each bullet point. Note: It’s preferred to have all bullets in a list be either complete sentences or sentence fragments.

Example of bullets as complete sentences: How you can protect patient privacy:

  • Conduct conversations with or about patients as privately as possible.
  • Keep patient lists and medical records in a secure location.
  • Provide information on a need-to-know basis.

Example of bullets that are not complete sentences:
This evaluation can be validated by:

  • Employee’s continuing education
  • Written tests
  • Direct observation

Example of bullets that are a mix of complete sentences and fragments:

  • White blood cells, which fight infection.
  • Red blood cells, which carry oxygen.
  • Platelets, which help blood to clot and stop bleeding.
  • All 3 kinds of blood cells. Low levels cause aplastic anemia.

Consider if a bulleted list is necessary when the items are single words.

Wash your hands to avoid spreading:

  • Germs
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Bits of Poo

Wash your hands to avoid spreading germs, bacteria, viruses and bits of poo.