22 Aug 2014
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4-Year-Old Drowning Victim Was at Pool With Child Care Center

Public safety officials continue to investigate the death of 4-year-old Vicente Cardenas. The victim was one of 19 children on a trip to Roosevelt Pool with Glenview-based Wesley Child Care Center.

4-Year-Old Drowning Victim Was at Pool With Child Care Center 4-Year-Old Drowning Victim Was at Pool With Child Care Center 4-Year-Old Drowning Victim Was at Pool With Child Care Center

The 4-year-old boywas part of a group of children from a local child care center visiting the Park District facility.

Vicente Cardenas was one of 19 children visiting Roosevelt Pool, 2239 Fir St., from Glenview-based Wesley Child Care Center, said Ellen Fagerburg, Wesley’s executive director.

When Patch spoke with Fagerburg Saturday night, she would not discuss the circumstances surrounding Cardenas’ death.

“Everything is under review,” she told Patch.

According to Fagerburg, eight counselors were on hand to accompany the children at Roosevelt Pool, where the childcare agency has been taking campers for more than 20 years.

Lifeguards unsuccessfully administered CPR before Cardenas was transported to Glenbrook Hospital, according to Glenview Park District officials.

Park District Executive Director Chuck Balling said a full set of lifeguards were on duty Friday, but would not specify how many.

All lifeguards go through an extensive training and certification program, Balling added.

The pool was closed Saturday and will remain closed Sunday, according to information posted on the Park District website.

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For its part, Wesley will have crisis counselors available to staff and parents on Monday, Fagerburg told Patch.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of this child,” Fagerburg said. “It is a terrible tragedy for the Cardenas family, Wesley and the village
of Glenview.”

In a letter sent to parents today, Fagerburg shared the agency’s condolences.

“Our immediate focus is on aiding the Cardenas family with this tragic loss,” Fagerburg wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Vicente’s
parents, family and friends during this time. ... We extend our deepest sympathies to those within the Wesley community who have also been affected.”

Glenview community mourns

Meanwhile, Glenview community members reacted Saturday to the death.

“Our hearts and our prayers go out to the family in this terrible tragedy,” said Village President Kerry Cummings. “The Glenview community as a whole is saddened by this and will support the family and friends and those who have been touched by this.”

Readers weighed in on Pach, sharing sympathies and first-hand accounts of the tragedy.  

"I was there when this all went down," wrote Elena Maciel. "It was sickening then just watching [the lifeguards] trying CPR on the boy and it is very sad to now know that he has gone. I just remember everyone's shocked faces. it just so unbelievable. He was so young and five days away from his birthday. My heart goes out to his family."

in some cases, readers questioned how something like this could happen.

“Those camp counselors must not have been watching him otherwise how did he end up unsupervised in the deep end of the pool?!?,” said reader KellyK. “Why didn't the lifeguards notice a four-year old in the deep end? It's such a tragedy that could have been avoided if the adults in charge of his care would have been paying attention!”

Other readers, including SuburbanMary, shared an alternate perspective.

“As a former lifeguard, I can tell you that responding to such an emergency is
gut-wrenching and traumatic for all involved, but we are taught to keep a level
head and begin life-saving measures until paramedics arrive,” she wrote.
“Please do not point the finger at the lifeguards in this situation. Lifeguards
are not babysitters nor are they there to supervise anyone's children.”

The  Fire and police officials continue to investigate the incident. Stay tuned to Patch for more details as they become available.

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