KIDS: AVERT YOUR EYES Parents who are having difficulty getting small kids to stick to a consistent sleep schedule should consider cutting TV time, new study findings suggest. Infants and toddlers who spend the most time in front of the television appear to have the most problems conforming to regular sleep times.

Studies of children and adolescents reveal various adverse effects of television viewing, including obesity, aggression, attention problems and poor sleep habits. But few researchers have investigated effects among infants and toddlers.

Researchers analyzed data from a national survey on 2,068 children aged four months to 35 months. Overall, the longer that tots spent in front of the TV, the more likely they were to have irregular sleeping schedules, they report in the journal Pediatrics.

One theory is that the bright light of the television before sleep may interfere with the normal sleep/wake cycle, the authors note.

U.S. children watch more than 19 hours of television per week, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 2 watch no television and those older than 2 watch less than two hours per day.

WHY QUIT NOW? Having a heart attack is a good incentive to quit smoking, but an international survey published last week shows that only half of patients who survive an attack quit.

Wilma Scholte op Reimer, of the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, called results of her study, appearing in the European Heart Journal, "shocking." Continuing to smoke after a heart attack boosts risks of heart-related death 10 times, she reports.

-- From News Services