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Underreporting of traffic injuries involving children in Japan
  1. S Nakahara,
  2. S Wakai
  1. Department of International Community Health, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan, Hongo 7–3–1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113–0033, Japan
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Nakahara


Background—Significant underreporting of road traffic injuries by the police has been documented, even in developed countries. The objective of this study was to clarify the magnitude of underreporting of police data in Japan.

Methods—Police reports were compared with those of the fire department and the Marine and Fire Insurance Association of Japan.

Results—The results reveal significant underreporting by police of child vehicle occupant injuries. The true incidence of these injuries in preschoolers was twice as high as that provided by official police reports.

Conclusion—Police reports would underestimate the magnitude of vehicle occupant injuries in children and distort any evaluations of preventive initiatives. Improving the police report system, and establishing a more comprehensive trauma registry, that would include data from hospitals and insurance companies should be implemented.

  • underreporting
  • traffic
  • occupant injuries

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