Days after a 7-year-old boy was killed while on vacation in North Carolina's Outer Banks, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said this week that vacation rental services should warn customers that home elevators can be dangerous. The acting chairperson wrote a letter to companies including Airbnb, Vrbo, and TripAdvisor urging the move, WRAL reports. "Residential elevators can pose a deadly but unforeseen hazard to children, particularly children who are encountering them in vacation or rental homes," it reads.
The boy's family had just arrived at the four-story rental home on the beach hours earlier when, on the night of July 11, he apparently got stuck between the inner and outer elevator doors, causing his neck to be crushed between the bottom of the elevator car and an upper door frame, the Washington Post reports. The newspaper has an illustration of how this can happen, as the interior door moves with the elevator while the exterior door remains on the floor landing. Other tragic accidents of a similar nature have killed at least eight children between 1981 and 2019, and injured at least two others. (Read more North Carolina stories.)