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HCC student camper suffers electric shock

July 11, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- A 10-year-old boy was injured Thursday at an academic enrichment camp after sticking a paper clip into a live electrical socket.

The student at Hagerstown Community College's College for Kids program was flown by helicopter to Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., for treatment, according to college spokeswoman Beth Stull and Maryland State Police.

The boy's hands were burned about 11:20 a.m., Stull said.

The boy was in a computer class when he stuck the paper clip into the electrical socket, and the action was "independent of what he was doing in class," Stull said.

She would not release the boy's name.

"Clearly, it was just an unfortunate incident where the child chose an action that had an unfortunate consequence," Stull said.

She said she did not know the extent of the boy's injuries Thursday afternoon, and that college officials were in touch with his parents.

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There are 750 students in HCC's annual College for Kids enrichment program. The summer classes are open to children in first through 10th grades, Anne Myers, program manager for lifelong learning and College for Kids, said in an interview with The Herald-Mail last week.

More than 70 one-week programs are offered through the first week in August.

Stull said the college does not have electrical outlet covers in its computer lab. There are covers in the college's on-site day care, she said.

"In a computer lab, obviously, there are electrical outlets," Stull said. "We wouldn't think that would be a problem for 10-year-olds."

She said officials would be looking into the incident, and the College for Kids program will continue.

"We will assess the situation and see if there's anything that could be done," Stull said.

Officials discussed the incident with other students, and a letter is being sent home to all parents of children enrolled in the program, she said.

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