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

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

Vincente 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.

Stay tuned to the latest Niles and Morton Grove news: Like us on Facebook.

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.

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 Vincente’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 Patch, 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.”

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

Glenview Parent June 23, 2012 at 01:11 PM
To the lifeguard, your anger is understandable. Unfortunately, caregivers, parents, lifeguards and others are human. Some are more vigilent then others. Most people have joined in conversations, even brief distractions can be enough for something to happen to anyone. I have witnessed flirting and conversations occuring this last week by lifeguards at a Glenview pool. While your title is not "babysitter" your title implies you stand guard at our pools, look for those in trouble and rescue them! You may be an excellent lifeguard and if so please continue to guard our pools and never hesitate to remind any caregiver of touch supervision, life vest availability or the areas to avoid for non swimmers. Peace.
Laura Clark June 23, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Thank you Maria, you said it perfectly.
Laura Clark June 23, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Very nicely said.
Laura Clark June 23, 2012 at 02:43 PM
This is a horrible tragedy for all involved. Everyone needs to step back and think about that. This is the absolute worst for the parents. They will never get over it. It also affects everyone else involved also. The camp counselors will live with this and wonder if they were watching the kids to the best of their abilities, the lifeguards will live with the for the rest of their lives wondering "what if", the pool manager will live with this as well as the Aquatic manager. Everyone needs to stop pointing fingers, learn something from the experience and have a little compassion for all involved. This is a tragedy, the kind of all. Everyone that walks into a pool is a potential risk, Water is fun but can be dangerous. Everyone needs to take caution. It only takes 30 seconds for someone to go unconscious with water in their lungs, for a child this can happen much quicker. Don't blame anyone for not doing their job, you don't know what happened. Just remember that it is a tragedy for all involved and again they are the ones that will live with this experience for the rest of their lives. They don't need "the monday morning quaterbacks" second guessing what they did or decisions they made. Let them all from the parents to the camp to the aquatic facility grieve this tragedy and sort it out. If you have never sat in a lifeguard chair or been a camp counselor you really don't have any room to comment on their actions.
Tynia (Tiny July 02, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Some times our young ones are called home early just no GOD makes no mistakes i no its hard to digest right now but no that alot of people are praying for ur family including me, my heart go out to the cardenas) God Bless the family


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »