• Kyodo

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Doctors have found most of the 150 children who were ill during visits to Osaka’s Universal Studios Japan theme park in its first year were already unwell but their parents chose to take them anyway.

Yasuhiro Kawasaki, chief pediatrician at Osaka Gyomeikan Hospital, carried out the study and published the results in the journal of the Japanese Society of Emergency Pediatrics.

The article says the study is based on 227 pediatric cases USJ first aid personnel referred to the hospital from March 2001 through April last year.

Seventy-seven cases were classified as bone fractures or other injuries, and 150 were classified as illnesses.

Of the 150 cases, doctors found 79 children had been coughing or complained of other symptoms such as fever or a stomachache a day before or the morning of their trip to the theme park. In one case, the parents took their child to the theme park via a long-distance night bus after the child spent a day at a school sports festival.

In another case, a child had a fever above 39 C on the night before the trip. The parents gave the child fever medicine, and the child’s temperature became normal by the time the family arrived at the theme park.

Kawasaki said the number of illnesses involving children visiting the theme park has decreased somewhat in the past year, but the phenomenon continues largely unabated, with parents still taking their children to the theme park though their kids are unwell.

The theme park opened in Osaka in March 2001.

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