Round Rock child dies in apparent drowning

Neighborhood on Monument Drive in Round Rock where a 4-year-old boy apparently drowned. (KXAN Photo)
Neighborhood on Monument Drive in Round Rock where a 4-year-old boy apparently drowned. (KXAN Photo)

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — A child’s death is being investigated by Williamson County Sheriff’s officials after a possible drowning Monday morning.

Around 10:55 a.m. Monday, deputies responded to a home in the 3700 block of Monument Drive after a drowning call. When they arrived, medics were putting the 4-year-old boy into an ambulance. After being transported to Dell Children’s Medical Center, the child, identified as Alister James Hyder, was declared dead.

Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody told KXAN the boy’s mother said they were sleeping in her bed and when she woke up, he was gone. She found him in the pool. “Far too often we take for granted that our young ones are right there next to us and they’re safer,” explains Sheriff Chody.

Chody said the back door leading to the pool did have a child-proof knob, but it looks like the boy was able to get around it. “There’s no indication that they weren’t functioning, it’s my belief on the information that I received, he was just able to defeat it and at four years of age, kids are pretty crafty.”

Bill Chesnutt lives in the neighborhood and says the tragic news makes him think of his grandson. “They can get into anything.”

Chesnutt never relied on many child-proof mechanisms when he was raising his own kids, and while it’s unknown if Alister had any swimming lessons, Chesnutt says they were a must for his 3 and 4 year olds. “We had talked to people and they said that’s the way to go, don’t wait until they’re 7, 8, or 9 because then they don’t understand what to do if they fall in the water.”

“This is a sad reminder to look at our own selves, our own families to say ‘what can we do differently,'” explains Chody.

Sheriff Chody says at this point, they don’t anticipate filing charges against Alister’s mother. Child Protective Services is also looking into Alister’s death, and confirms it does have “history” with this family.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says Texas was among the deadliest states in the U.S. for child pool and spa drownings in 2016, with 39 child swimming pool and spa drownings occurring last year. In 2015, Texas had 33 child pool and spa drownings.

Pool Safety Tips

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water.
  • Designate a Water Watcher to supervise children in the pool or spa. This person should not be reading, using a smart phone or be otherwise distracted.
  • Learn how to swim, and teach your child how to swim.
  • Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
  • All pools should have at least one lock between them and the outside area.  If the pool is accessible from inside the house, then any door leading to the pool area should have some kind of alarm/alert on it similar to a home security alarm.
  • If possible, the pool should have some kind of motion sensor alarm that alerts the homeowner whenever someone enters the po
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
  • Ensure any pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards, and if you do not know, ask your pool service provider about safe drain covers and ask your public pool if their drains are “VGB compliant.”

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