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3-year-old suffers second-degree burns after falling into thermal feature at Yellowstone

3-year-old suffers second-degree burns after falling into thermal feature at Yellowstone
Posted at 1:17 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 14:07:57-04

A 3-year-old suffered second-degree burns after falling into a small thermal feature at Yellowstone National Park.

The National Park Service (NPS) says the child took off running from a trail before slipping and falling into the feature Friday morning. It happened near the Midway Geyser Basin.

The child, who suffered burns to the lower body and back, was airlifted to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

According to NPS, the ground in hydrothermal areas, like at Yellowstone, is fragile and thin. Just below the surface is scalding water.

Visitors to Yellowstone are asked to always remain on boardwalks and trails. They’re also encouraged to exercise extreme caution around thermal features.

This certainly isn’t the first time someone has been injured in a thermal area like this. This past May, NPS says another visitor, who illegally entered the park, fell into thermal feature at Old Faithful while taking photos.

Similar instances have been reported in previous years as well. In 2016 and 2000, people actually died as a result of falling into hot springs, NPS says.