USA Today reports that researchers have confirmed the distracting power television holds over children. They found that children watching cartoons suffered less pain from hypodermic needles than children not watching television. They also found that cartoons actually had more comforting power than Mom. The chief author of the study, Carlo Bellieni, said: “While it’s good to have a powerful distraction for children getting painful medical procedures … we have demonstrated the excessive power of television.” The study involved 69 children, ages 7 to 12, who were separated into three groups, then asked to rate their pain when stuck with a needle to take a blood sample. The children’s mothers also rated their child’s pain. Those children watching cartoons felt half as much pain as they did when being soothed by their own mother. This is in keeping with some other studies that have found that attempts at soothing children often backfire, because its signals to the child “something must be wrong” to warrant the soothing…