If you are heading to the beach, there are things you can do to keep yourself and your family safe.

Start by knowing the facts - the dos and don'ts on this page will help you enjoy the coast and stay out of trouble. Please share this advice with your family and friends, online and in your community. It could keep them safe too. And don't forget to join the conversation using #RespectTheWater, or #ParchwchYDŵr for Wales.

What are the dangers for kids at the beach?

Without you by their side, children are vulnerable at the beach. They need you to protect them from the sea’s unpredictable waves, rip currents and cold water. Don't use inflatables - they get swept out to sea, with you or your child on them.

In partnership with Swim England, the RNLI offers Swim Safe sessions for children aged 7-14 across the UK, teaching skills to keep them safe in the water.

What if you do get into danger?

Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard, and they will send help. Leave difficult rescues to the lifesavers. If there are lifeguards nearby, alert them. If you or your children are struggling in the water, remember: FLOAT TO LIVE:

  1. 1

    If you fall into water

    fight your instinct to thrash around

  2. 2

    Lean back

    extend your arms and legs

  3. 3

    If you need to

    gently move them around to help you float

  4. 4

    Float

    until you can control your breathing

  5. 5

    Only then, call for help

    or swim to safety

What are the other risks?

Watch our video to learn what a rip current looks like. If you find yourself caught in one and you're able to stand, just wade. If you can't stand, don't try to swim against it. Keep hold of your board (if you have one) and swim parallel to the shore until you're free from the rip. If you can, raise your hand and shout for help. If swimming is too difficult, Float to Live. In an emergency, call 999 for the Coastguard.

Before you head out, check the tide times online. Watch out for the incoming tide and, in an emergency, call 999 for the Coastguard.

Don't take risks at the coast. Keep your family back from the water and, in an emergency call 999 for the Coastguard.

Always stay away from the edge and keep your dog on a lead. In an emergency, call 999 for the Coastguard.

Keep a way of calling for help attached to you, or kept in your pocket, at all times. Wear a floatation device and, in an emergency, call 999 for the Coastguard.

Watch our video to learn what a rip current looks like. If you find yourself caught in one, swim parallel to the beach until you’re free from the rip – but it’s too difficult, Float to Live or (if you have one), keep hold of your board. In an emergency, call 999 for the Coastguard.

What rescue teams are available?

Although there won't be lifeguard patrols on every beach, RNLI lifeboat crews, MCA Coastguards and helicopters are at the ready to answer every call for help, 24/7.

The RNLI is a charity - we rely on donations to equip, train and support our lifesaving services around the coast.

How can you help?

Share the safety messages with your loved ones through social media or email. Power the RNLI's lifesavers through their toughest summer with a donation. And we'd love to send you news, rescue stories, videos and more from our lifesaving charity - simply sign up to our emails.