Julie Bowen has revealed her son once suffered a life threatening allergic reaction.

The 'Modern Family' star - who has three children with her husband of eight years Scott Phillips - has admitted she was terrified when her eldest son Oliver, now five, went into anaphylactic shock causing his entire face to instantly swell up after being stung by a bee while eating peanut butter when he was almost two years old.

The 42-year-old actress - who plays Claire Dunphy on the hit comedy show - told the Los Angeles Times: ''It was so scary. I immediately panicked.

''His entire face swelled up, his eye swelled shut and his lips became giant. We took him to the ER, where he was treated with an EpiPen, and ever since then we've been vigilant about keeping him safe.''

The Emmy award winner said she keeps her own EpiPen auto-injector - a device used to deliver a specific dose of Epinephrine to treat the symptoms of an allergic reaction - close to hand at all times.

She said: ''If he has a play date, it goes in a backpack with him.''

The blonde beauty - who also has three-year-old twins John and Gustav - is hoping to raise awareness among parents about allergies and triggers.

She said: ''There's a whole list of things that can be triggers, from bees to nuts to even latex, and people don't know about a lot of them.''