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 5 names in this directory beginning with the letter H.
Hand washing

Two separate words; takes a hyphen when used as a compound modifier (e.g., hand-washing campaign).


Capitalize all words except articles and prepositions that have three or fewer letters. Capitalize an article (the, an, a) or a word with fewer than four letters if it is the first or last word in a title. Always use Arabic numbers (figures) in headlines.

Daylight Saving Time Goes Into Effect Monday
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Now Is the Time to Vote
Parents of Children With Feeding Tubes Work With Hospital to Produce Long-Term Change
A Mother’s Reflections About Her Family’s Experience
Seahawks Win 3 Games in a Row
Seattle Children’s 5th in Research Funding


Seattle Children’s departs from AP Style for the spelling of healthcare.

One word in all instances.

Healthcare costs
Healthcare facility
Healthcare provider

Where multiple providers are intended, use "healthcare providers."

Healthy vs. healthful

Children's preference is to use "healthy" as an adjective.

healthy recipes
healthy lifestyle


For information on when and how to capitalize hyphenated words, see Capitalization. Hyphens should be used to: Avoid ambiguity: "The president will speak to small-business men." ("Businessmen" is normally one word, but in the context of this sentence, "small" could refer to the physical size of the business owners rather than the size of the business). Make compound modifiers. When a compound modifier of two or more words that express a single concept precedes a noun, use hyphens to link all the words in the compound except the adverb “very” and all adverbs that end in “ly”: a first-quarter touchdown, a bluish-green dress, a very good time, an easily remembered rule, etc. Avoid duplicated vowels, tripled consonants. Examples: anti-intellectual, pre-empt, shell-like. In headlines, capitalize the second word of a hyphenated word for ease of reading.

Example: New Leadership Re-Energizes the Workplace

Retain the hyphen with the prefix "co-" when forming nouns, adjectives and verbs that indicate occupation or status, such as "co-author," "co-director," "co-chair" or "co-payment." Do not use a hyphen to replace the word “to” when referring to ranges of numbers or time. Seattle Children’s preferred style is to use the word “to” rather than a hyphen, except in a bulleted list. (See also "Ages.")

Example: The study will take 15 to 18 years.

For more on hyphens, see The Associated Press Stylebook.