Wigan mother whose toddler drowned on holiday backs controversial swim survival technique

ITV Granda Reports correspondent Rob Smith met Emma, the mum teaching a controversial water survival method to young children.

The mum of a toddler who drowned in a hotel swimming pool believes a controversial swim survival technique should be made part of the school curriculum.

It is an American method, which is called PeddiaSwim, and teaches children how to roll over onto their back to rest and breathe, before learning any strokes.

This is the controversial PeddiaSwim technique in action. Do not try this technique without a professional present.

The methods used can look drastic, but supporters insist it is a highly effective way of helping children feel safe in water.

However, some safety experts believe it can be traumatic and affect a child's feelings towards water in later life.

Instructor Emma Aspinall, from Wigan, trained in this specific technique after losing her two-year-old son Loui.

He wandered alone into a pool on holiday in 2013, without anyone seeing him, and drowned.

Emma says it's fantastic to see children take on the skills she teaches.

A swim school in the United States gave Emma the skills she believes give youngsters a fighting chance in the water.

Just five people in the UK teach this type of survival swimming - including Emma's co-instructor.

Emma said: "Each time that we see them put all their skills together that they've learned and roll over for the first time on their own and float, it's fantastic."

Emma has been teaching this method since 2017 following the tragic of her child.

However, some water safety experts do not believe this method is the best way to teach children - even with the best motivation.

Lee Heard, from the Royal Life Saving Society, said: "All of the signs suggest that these type of techniques, and the type of stress that it can cause for children, can have a negative impact in later life of their love and enjoyment of water.

"We understand that people need to know how to float in the water, around 40-60% of the people who drown never intended to be in the water. So that type of skill, being able to float, is vital."

Lee Heard, from the Royal Life Saving Society, does not believe this method is the best way to teach children about water safety.

Emma launched her infant swim sessions in 2017 at Hindley Green, Wigan, as well as her charity Doit4Loui.

They raise awareness on child drowning prevention and raise funds to insure that survival skills are accessible to every child regardless of financial situations.