VIDEO: How young is too young to swim alone in pool?

Posted at 7:43 AM, Jul 02, 2013

(CNN) – Video of a 16-month-old child swimming in a pool is stirring controversy. Adam Christensen posted the video of his daughter Elizabeth on YouTube.

Elizabeth was trained by a professional instructor, but some parents who have seen the video question whether the child is safe.

Click the video box to watch the child swim. After watching the video, click here to comment about the video on the CBS 6 Facebook page.

Christensen said safety is always his first priority.

"When I first watched her in there, every time she went face down I was like 'oh my goodness, she can't breathe.' I was just worried to death, but the instructor assured us that she was just fine," Christensen said. "The instruction is not actually teaching them how to swim, but rather engaging their reflexes. There are a lot of aspects of the video that I understand where people are very worried, like for example, there's nobody in the pool with her. Well, if you watch lifeguards, you'll notice that they're there because it's actually easier to jump in and save somebody when you're on the side of the pool rather than wading through the water.

"They downright tell you do not use flotation devices. The whole point of the program is to get the student to lay down flat on their back or on their stomach. Flotation devices teach them to stay upright and if you're upright, you sink down to the bottom.

"We didn't teach her ourselves. We wanted a professional, somebody that was certified to do that, but we still are able to recognize warning signs, when they're fatigued.

"As you can see in the video, she's not coughing or choking. She's gasping, but that's normal. She's trained and she knows that all she has to do is flip over. I love my little girl and I would never do anything that would hurt her. And I certainly wouldn't force her to do anything that she does not want to do."

In the description for the YouTube video, Christensen says he is a registered nurse and his wife is a former lifeguard.

Christensen said Elizabeth swims up to three times a day and can dive under water to pick up toys.