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 3 names in this directory beginning with the letter N.

Preferred over "not-for-profit"


We have a second standard for content intended specifically for patients and families. See entry below “Using numerals to improve readability” Spell out whole numbers one through nine. Use figures for 10 and above. Use figures whenever preceding a unit of measure or referring to ages of people, animals, events or things. Express mixed numbers, including ages, with fractions with a full space between the whole number and fraction. When using figures, make sure the “st” or “th” are not superscript (even though Microsoft Word will autocorrect to superscript) Express mixed numbers, including ages, with fractions. Always use numerals for hospital floor numbers, e.g., 6th floor, and for process steps, e.g., Step 1.

The woman has three sons and two daughters.
He has a fleet of 10 station wagons and two buses.
He got it right the first time.
By the 10th time, it was a habit.
The ladder was 12 1/2 feet tall.
In headlines, use figures for ordinal numbers, e.g., Seattle Children’s 5th in Research Funding. Use 1st, 2nd, etc. when the sequence has been assigned in the form of a name.

7th Fleet
1st Precinct

Sentence start: Spell out a numeral at the beginning of a sentence. If necessary, revise the sentence. One exception: a numeral that identifies a calendar year.

1996 was a very good year.
Incorrect: 993 freshmen entered the college last year.
Last year, 993 freshmen entered the college.

For more on the use of numerals, see The Associated Press Stylebook.

Numerals (using numerals to improve readability)

To improve clarity and ease of reading for patient education materials and for the Medical Conditions, Clinics/Programs and Safety/Wellness sections of seattlechildrens.org, follow these guidelines. (Note: Content created for other purposes should follow the guidelines in Numerals entry above): Use figures when indicating quantities, durations, units of measure and ages, even when less than 10.

To diagnose your child, our team will do 1 or more of the following:
There are 2 ways to determine the stage of neuroblastoma in children.
Over the past 5 years, we have cared for 11 children with Muenke syndrome.
Usually, surgery takes less than 3 hours. Your child usually will stay in the hospital 1 to 2 nights.

Spell out “one” if it is used as a pronoun.

Healing happens faster when we are kind to one another.

Spell out if the number is the first word of a sentence.

Example: One parent may stay overnight at a time.

Use numbers and fractions for nutrition or recipe measurements in all instances.


Example: 3/4 tsp.

Use abbreviations with no periods for units of measurement.

Example: Give 10 mg of Ritalin after breakfast.

Provide common equivalents when using ounces.

Example: Give with 1 cup (8 oz.) of water.

Note a child’s weight in both pounds and kilograms.

Example: Child’s weight is between 44 to 87 lbs. or 20 to 40 kg.

Use numerals for procedural steps or medicine instructions and time measurements.

Example: 1. Remove the cap on the spacer’s mouthpiece.

Example: Take 1 pill before bedtime each day for 1 week.

Use numerals for medicine instructions and include ml equivalent on any liquid medicine measurement.

Example: Give 5 ml Tylenol.

Use ratios instead of % to express natural frequencies.

1 in 4 American women will die from heart disease.
Incorrect: Women in the U.S. have a 25% chance of dying from heart disease.

Do not use symbols to describe quantities (e.g., < and > or ≤ or ≥). Instead, use words to describe your meaning.

Example: Serve 5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day.