An electric shock sent a Webster parish kindergartner to the hospital on Tuesday. The family of an Ark-La-Tex boy, Zander Thompson, says their six year old was burned by an electrical outlet while washing his hands at school. Now they are trying to find out how this could have happened.
"I was shocked. He was at school, he was supposed to be safe," said Zander's mom Jennifer Thompson, who says it happened at a lunch room washing station in J.E. Harper Elementary School.
Zander's parents are outraged this happened and are pledging to make sure this never happens again. The six year old spent the day in the hospital and still has burning sensation in his hand. But his family says he's going to be fine. Still, his parent's can't help but think, how the situation could have been much worse. "It could have arced across his heart, he could have been in serious condition, or worse, he could have been dead," said Zander's mom Jennifer.
Zander spent much of Tuesday holding an ice pack on his hand after an electrical shock burned three of his fingers. "Soap probably dripped off my hand and I didn't see it and probably got in the plug and it shot sparks," said Zander.
His parents believe when he shook the soap off, an electrical current arced from the outlet, burning him. "It felt hot," said Zander. His parents wonder how this happened in the first place, "We prepare for the major problems, the tornados, the fires, the god forbid somebody breaks in with a gun, but these little things get overlooked," said Zander's dad James Thompson.
KSLA News 12 investigated and found current electrical codes require all outlets near a wet area, like a sink, to be outfitted with special outlet called a ground fault circuit interrupter, which is designed to prevent electrical shock. But the outlet that shocked Zander did not have that ground fault circuit interrupter. The Parish's Building Officials Office says since the school was built before that code was enacted, the school is not out of compliance.
Still, school board officials tell us, in the future, they plan to look into replacing all electrical outlets in the building. "I want this taken care of now. Before our kids go back in, because it could be totally different if the same thing happens again," said Jennifer.
It's the second time this week, the school has had electrical problems. On Monday, school and fire department officials confirm the school was evacuated after a faulty plug shorted. The superintendent and school principal did not return our calls to comment. But, Zander's family says they have been in constant contact with school officials. In fact, the Superintendent promised to do a walk-through of the school with the family to look deeper into what happened.
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