FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. (AP) _ A 20-month-old boy was in critical condition today while doctors examined injuries he suffered after he fell into a well in his parent's backyard, officials said.

Colin Barleycorn slipped out of his mother's sight around 11 a.m. Monday and fell through the rotted wooden cover of the well, Police Lt. William Holland said.

The mother called police, who after arriving a short time later climbed down the 6-foot shaft and pulled the unconscious toddler from a pool of water, Holland said.

The officers administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and took him to the hospital, Holland said.

The boy was undergoing evaluation and listed in critical condition in intensive care at United Hospitals Medical Center in Newark, said Emelia Cap, assistant director of nursing.

Holland said he was surprised such an accident occurred in light of publicity following the recent incident in Midland, Texas, in which 18-month- old Jessica McClure fell into an abandoned well. It took rescue workers 2 1/2 days to free her.

''I'm amazed with all the publicity about the Texas incident that people didn't get out and check their wells,'' he said.

Holland suggested homeowners check to ensure well covers are sturdy and locked in place, and think about replacing wooden covers with more durable metal, concrete or plastic covers.