Recent US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations on vision screening reported insufficient data to recommend vision screening in children <3 years of age. The Iowa photoscreening program, KidSight, has screened children from 6 months of age and older since 2000. We report our experience with vision screening in these children and compare the results of the photoscreens in children younger than 3 years with those of children of preschool age and older.


A retrospective review of results from the Iowa KidSight database using the MTI PhotoScreener containing results of children screened between May 1, 2000, and April 30, 2011.


During the 11 years of the study, 210 695 photoscreens on children were performed at 13 750 sites. In the <3-year age group, the unreadable rate was 13.0%, the referral rate was 3.3%, and the overall positive-predictive value was 86.6%. In the 3- to 6-year-old children, the unreadable rate was 4.1%, the referral rate was 4.7%, and the overall positive-predictive value was 89.4%.


No statistically significant difference was found in screening children from 1 to 3 years old compared with screening children >3 years old. These results confirm that early screening, before amblyopia is more pronounced, can reliably detect amblyogenic risk factors in children younger than 3 years of age, and we recommend initiation of photoscreening in children aged 1 year and older.

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