A 13-month old is in hospital in critical condition after nearly drowning in his family’s backyard pool.

It happened Thursday at about 11 a.m. in Montreal's Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district.

Montreal Police spokesman Francois Collard said the boy's mother and her friend were at home at the time, and pulled him out of the pool.

“He was left unattended for approximately five minutes. The time of submersion is unknown,” Collard said.

Once police arrived at the scene, an officer performed CPR on the boy before he was rushed off to hospital.

He arrived there, breathing on his own, but was admitted in critical condition.

Neighbours are hoping for the boy will recover.

“I am in shock, especially because it’s a child — a baby,” said Mohamed Yazid Mokeddem.

Coroner calls for tighter rules

The near drowning comes just as Quebec's coroner's office issued recommendations for tighter provincial rules for residential pools.

Current safety requirements for residential pools built after 2010 include the following:

  • A 1.2-metre-high enclosure with no openings big enough to allow the passage of anything 10 centimetres wide or larger.
  • An enclosure that shuts and locks automatically
  • A ladder or stairs for in-ground and semi-in-ground pools

Coroner Andrée Kronstrom, who co-authored a new report on drownings, is recommending the province makes the rules retroactive so that they apply to pools built before 2010 as well.

"Many pools were built before 2010 and they will still be there for many, many years," said Kronstrom.