"AFTER what happened to me I would never, ever, do anything to put a child in danger," said mum Olivia Rowe, hitting back at official criticism of a swim scheme which aims to give babies and toddlers a better chance of survival if they fall into water.

Her son Jack drowned in the family's pool on his third birthday three years ago, and she now teaches the Infant Swimming Resource technique, having trained in America earlier this year.

UK safety groups and swimming associations say they do not believe the technique, which teaches very young children to roll over onto their back, relax and float, rather than staying face down and risking drowning if there is no-one nearby to help them, has a proven success rate. They have produced a condemnatory report, Sink or Swim, which says children could suffer trauma in later life because of the teaching, which they say causes stress.

"They say what we do traumatises children: none of mine have been traumatised. They say it gives them a fear of swimming, well none of mine have. We are very very careful about teaching the children and we work with their parents.

"Everybody we have taught has reacted to it very positively - that's about 14 children," said Mrs Rowe, who runs the courses with her friend Joanna Borthwick. "There's been no criticism at all.

"Unfortunately it's companies feeling threatened by what we do. The teacher in the States says this is how it was there 20 years ago."

Mrs Rowe, of Grey Flags, Pewsey Road, Upavon, and her husband Nigel set up the Jack Rabbit Foundation in their son's memory after the tragedy at the family home, as soon after his death Mrs Rowe learned about the technique and wanted to bring it to the UK. The Foundation paid for Mrs Rowe, Ms Borthwick and their children, including 21-month-old Zander Rowe, to travel to America for the swim training in February.

"I am not saying they will never come to harm - an Olympic swimmer could drown," Mrs Rowe said. "We just want to give children another skill.

"It buys them time if they do fall in, they can have time for help to get to them."

After Jack's death, an inquest heard he had wandered out of the house in the four minutes the adult looking after him was in the toilet, and had probably fallen into the pool while reaching for a floating toy.

Ruling his death an accident, coroner Clare Balysz said: "There will be an awful lot of parents that will be thinking ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ because children do run the whole time and it’s a very unfortunate and tragic accident.”

The highly critical report, which dubs the technique 'drown-proofing', was produced by seven groups, including some which teach children swimming and the Royal Lifesaving Society, after videos showing young children apparently suffering trauma while being taught the floatation technique were posted on social media.

Paul Thompson, co-founder of Water Babies, said: "We are fully aware of the distress to children the self-rescue technique can cause and regard it as an aggressive, unproven method to make babies 'drown-proof'. Parents who choose this method are well-intentioned, but have unfortunately been misguided."

The report says: "While some may see this highly stressful, forceful method of teaching as being ‘a means to an end’, the wider baby swimming profession argue that there is an urgent need to examine if these drown-proofing techniques, which are being promoted to parents as insurance for their child’s water safety, are actually safe, acceptable and effective. The industry consensus is that this evidence must be based on current scientific research – and NOT the views of parenting experts who are not recognised scientists."