Girl, 3, runs off trail and falls into scalding water at Yellowstone National Park

ByJon Haworth ABCNews logo
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Bison unbothered by geyser erupting behind him at Yellowstone
Visitors to Yellowstone National Park were treated to a spectacular view on June 24 when a bison stopped in front of Old Faithful as it erupted.

A 3-year-old girl is being treated for second-degree thermal burns after falling into scalding water at a small water feature at Yellowstone National Park.

The incident occurred on Oct. 9 at approximately 11:39 a.m. when the unnamed 3-year-old took off running from the trail near the Fountain Freight Road close to the Midway Geyser Basin before slipping and falling into the small thermal feature, according to a statement published by the National Park Service (NPS).

"The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface," said the NPS. "Visitors must always remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around thermal features."

The little girl was subsequently life-flighted to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center where she is now being treated for second-degree thermal burns to her lower body and back.

The National Park Service issued a stark reminder to the public about similar incidents that have happened recently at the park and urged people to take caution when visiting the park.

"This is the second significant injury in a thermal area in 2020. In May of this year a visitor (who illegally entered the park) fell into a thermal feature at Old Faithful while backing up and taking photos," the NPS said. "In September 2019, a man suffered severe burns after falling into thermal water near the cone of Old Faithful Geyser. In June 2017, a man sustained severe burns after falling in a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin. In June 2016, a man left the boardwalk and died after slipping into a hot spring in Norris Geyser Basin. In August 2000, one person died and two people received severe burns from falling into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin."

This current incident involving the 3-year-old girl and the circumstances around it is currently under investigation.