A 13-year-old boy had to be hospitalized after getting burned at a thermal pool in Yellowstone National Park.
According to KTVQ, the incident occurred near Castle Geyser Saturday evening. It was initially reported near Morning Glory Pool. According to rangers, the 13-year-old received burns on one of his limbs; rangers declined to say which limb or how badly he was burned. He was flown to a Jackson hospital for treatment. Reportedly, the boy’s father refused medical treatment.
It cannot be overstated how careful visitors should be when walking around geyser plains. All visitors must stick to the boardwalk and marked trails, and should never, ever step off. Doing so puts you at risk of injury or death. From KTVQ:
“Directly below the surface and in areas where there are thermal features, there can be a lip over the top of the feature that hides boiling hot water below it,” said park spokeswoman Charissa Reid. “So it’s very dangerous to walk off the boardwalk in the thermal areas. Not only is it illegal, but it’s also unsafe. In addition to that, it can damage the thermal features and encourage others to walk off trail by leaving foot prints in the geyserites as well, so it is illegal and we do enforce that regulation pretty strongly in the park.”
Reid said this is the first thermal burn incident reported in the park so far this year.
She said incident remains under investigation.
UPDATE: According to the Billings Gazette, the 13-year-old boy was being carried by his father when he slipped. He suffered burns on his ankle and foot. His father suffered splash burns. The boy was treated at the Old Faithful Clinic before being flown to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson, WY.