Dec 052011

The condition of a 2-year-old girl who was found face-down in a Glendale pool Tuesday night has been upgraded, authorities said.

The toddler was flown to St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center in very critical condition.

Though she remains in serious condition Wednesday, the toddler’s condition appears to have improved, said Officer Gerald Sydnor, a Glendale police spokesman.

Emergency crews were called to a home in the 5200 block of North 71st Lane around 8 p.m. for a possible drowning after the girl’s siblings apparently found her in the pool, pulled her out and called 911, said Daniel Valenzuela, a Glendale fire spokesman.

Emergency crews treated the toddler on scene before flying her to the hospital.

The Glendale home is located just outside the Maryvale precinct of Phoenix, one of America’s leading neighborhoods for drownings a decade ago.

Fire officials launched a water-safety campaign targeting the west Phoenix neighborhood in 2002 after statistics revealed nearly two-thirds of all drownings in Arizona occurred in that area.

The campaign, which promoted proper fencing and encouraged residents to fill unwanted pools, dramatically reduced the number of pool-related submersions.

Valenzuela said Tuesday’s near drowning is unfortunate because the Glendale Fire Department conducted another water-safety campaign in that exact neighborhood on Saturday. Firefighters went door-to-door offering free inspections of pools, providing advice, water-safety tips and even free pool fences for some residents.

On average, 20 children have died in water-related incidents every year in Maricopa County since 2000, according to Valenzuela. Many others, he added, suffer lifelong problems related to prolonged submersion.

Valenzuela said this incident is a strong reminder for all residents to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of their children.

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