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A prospective study involving all casualty departments in Trent Region and 81% of the major eye units in UK was performed to determine ocular morbidity from the use of fireworks during 1986. A serious injury was defined as involving admission to hospital and/or intraocular damage. Of all the injuries from fireworks, 16.7% seen at major eye units were serious and were caused by rockets or exploding fireworks (P less than 0.001). Only 53% of all injuries and 12.5% of serious injuries involved children, and in contrast to the 1950s and early 1960s, young adults appear at greatest risk in the 1980s. Legislation to reduce ocular morbidity should concentrate on restricting the use of rockets and exploding fireworks and encouraging the use of suitable eye protection.