On Nurses, Shots in the Butt, Peeing in Pants, Big Government, and Reduced Access to Credit

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My 6-year-old son gets recurring ear infections, for which his doctor prescribes shots in the butt. For his first injection, the nurse lowered his briefs in the back enough to give the injection. Afterward, we noticed that my son “tinkled” in his briefs during the injection. Yesterday, my son needed another injection. This time, instead of just pulling the pants down in the back, she pulled them down to his knees. Why did the nurse change her tactics? Does this make sense?


Before you jump to conclusions about the nurse’s motivations, consider a simple and practical explanation. If the nurse pulled down the boy’s pants in the back and had to hold them while she gave the injection with her other hand, she may have gotten wet. Perhaps she wanted to avoid getting urine on her hands.

The nurse may also have pulled down the boy’s pants in the belief that many children view peeing on themselves inside their clothes differently than urinating in public. You didn’t mention whether your son kept his bladder under control during the second injection. If he did, then the nurse’s actions may have made a difference.

Apparently you didn’t ask the nurse for an explanation at the time of the injection. If you go back and ask now, both of you will question the other’s motives. I recommend that next time you see the doctor, you mention the nurse’s actions and ask why she might have changed the way she gave the injection. The doctor’s response should shape your next move, if any.


A Federal Reserve regulation that took effect Oct. 1 will prevent many applicants from qualifying for new credit-card accounts. Under the new rule, card issuers can consider only an individual’s own salary or other income, rather than combined household income. This could make it hard for stay-at-home parents to obtain credit. Did this law intentionally target stay-at-home parents? Should banks issue cards to people without an independent income, even if they have access to family money?


Economically, the regulation makes sense. Unfortunately, stay-at-home parents will probably get caught in the fallout. The United States has yet to recover from a financial crisis brought on by many billions of dollars in loans given to people unable to pay them back.

It has become chic to castigate Wall Street and financial institutions, and they certainly deserve plenty of the blame. In recent years, credit-card companies have issued plastic to young children, dead people, and even pets. Yes, you read me right, dogs and cats. But the problem never would have occurred if tens of millions of Americans had not tried to borrow more than they could handle.

Unfortunately, once the government gets involved in family finance, it tends to operate with an axe rather than a scalpel. And politicians know that if you want a regulation to pass without arousing too much ire from either legislators or the public, you lay the rules on the group with the smallest number of constituents.

Millions of people apply for credit cards. Only a relatively small number of banks issue them. Since the government doesn’t trust individuals to stop borrowing, and it doesn’t trust banks to stop making foolish loans, it opts to prevent banks from lending to those who can’t pay. In theory, the restrictions will make for a financially stronger society.

The economics of lending to people without an independent income are pretty plain. It’s a bad move. The law probably did not target stay-at-home parents, as the government has no reason to single such people out. However, the inability of stay-at-home parents to obtain credit in their names could make it easier for breadwinners with control issues to exercise dominance and more difficult for spouses to leave an abusive relationship.

Does the new rule do more harm than good? I don’t know, and I could make an equally compelling argument for both sides of that debate. But it is certainly not family friendly.

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