Actress Reese Witherspoon has banned her young children AVA and DEACON from going to summer camps with pools, after she almost drowned in one during a childhood trip away from home.

The LEGALLY BLONDE star was just four years old when she endured the horrific experience, and she's not been able to look at a pool in the same way ever since.

She says, "It was at camp and I went under the water. I was in a swimming pool and I couldn't swim in the deep end, and I swam down to the deep end and I almost drowned.

"I remember going under thinking, 'No one's going to come get me, are they?' I just simply remember swallowing a lot of water and going down. I was at the bottom of the pool.

"Someone got me, but it was literally the last second they could have gotten me. I swallowed a lot of water; I threw up, the whole thing. It was really scary.

"I don't even know if they told my mother how frightening it was. They were like, 'No, she was fine, she loves swimming.'

"I concentrated on my swimming lessons from then on. It didn't make me fearful. I still swim and make sure my kids have a lot of swimming lessons. I have like seven locks on the door by the pool and alarms and beeping things that go off if anybody walks near the gate. It's no joke, man; it's very, very dangerous.

"Therefore my children don't go to camps with swimming pools. (Ava) likes the shallow end a lot."