TINA SCHAFROTH used first aid skills learned when she was pregnant to save the life of her toddler son after he fell into a water trough and nearly drowned.

Now she is urging other parents to equip themselves with the same vital knowledge.

“I remembered enough of that two hour course to bring him back before the paramedics arrived. Don't put it off. I had five terrifying minutes of thinking I'd never get to see my baby smile again,” she said.

George, 13 months, had gone with her to feed the family’s pet goats near their home in Little Somerford on June 3. But she turned round to find he had fallen in the trough.

“He’d leaned in and gone over the tipping point. The water butt is not big but it was big enough that he couldn’t reach enough to hold himself out.

“I ran over screaming and pulled him out and I just remember his eyes, they were glassy like a doll’s.”

Remembering a paediatric first aid course she had taken before George was born, she went into action.

“I had my hand on his wrist and couldn’t feel a pulse, he wasn’t breathing so I kept hitting his back really hard and there was just water going everywhere.

“There was no coughing like you see in movies and that’s when I really started to panic and think he wasn’t coming back and that was it.”

She described desperately running for help while trying to revive the tot. “I remembered to hold his nose while I tried to run across a field and simultaneously do mouth to mouth.”

She remembered her neighbour was a sister at the Great Western Hospital and she knew she was in. Luckily she managed to flag down a passing car and was swiftly taken home. From there her neighbour dialled 999.

“He’d started breathing again and taking little breaths but I remember him flopping,” she said.

“The ambulance was only in Malmesbury so they were here in less than 10 minutes. We were so lucky.”

The lucky little boy made a fast recovery and doesn’t seem to have been affected by the incident. “He was running around triage with not a care in the world, I was still sat there in tears but he was absolutely fine,” said his mum. “He still loves water, he doesn’t seem to have any memories or concerns.”

She and partner Neil went on social media with plans to run a first aid course for other parents and carers and their appeal was spotted by Activity Zone manager Andy Donald.

“That little bit of knowledge potentially saved her son’s life. That’s precious,” he said. “As a parent I saw this story and thought ‘We can actually help.’”

The leisure centre had the resources and staff had the training gained from regular courses and real life experience.

“We want to share that knowledge and skill within the community. We are part of Malmesbury.”

The course teaches basic resuscitation and first aid techniques for when a baby or young child stops breathing in a choking or drowning situation and runs on Saturday at 3.15pm. For information, contact the centre on 01666 822533.