Every summer, lifeguards and the Coastguard respond to thousands of incidents on UK beaches. To stay safe at the seaside, be informed about the dangers and follow these simple tips.

Enjoy your trip to the beach and make it more enjoyable for other beach users, consider our do's and dont's.

  • Take litter home with you or put it in a bin
  • Do not bring glass onto the beach.
  • Do not remove stones from the beach.
  • When rock pooling leave sea creatures where you find them. Look, but don’t touch as they may be fragile and some can sting.
  • Do not interfere with the lifesaving equipment - your life could depend on it.
  • Only use barbecues within the designated area.
  • Do not light fires.
  • Consider other people using the beach - no loud music.

Children love going to the beach, find out how you can make visits more enjoyable by staying safe.

  • Supervise your child at all times.
  • Use the Tag your Kids scheme, available from the Beach Manager.
  • Agree a meeting point in case any member of your party gets separated from the group.
  • If you become separated from your child, stay in the place where your child would expect you to be and get someone to notify the beach staff.
  • Let the beach staff know as soon as you find your child.
  • Ensure that they are adequately protected from the sun.
  • Ensure that your child remains properly hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • If the beach is not manned and your child is lost, call the Police.
  • Pay attention to any warning signs and flags on the beach. If a red flag is being displayed, do not go into the sea.
  • If you are unsure about the meaning of any flags flying or signs on display, check on the information boards or with beach staff where they are present before going in the water.

It's important to protect skin in the sun to avoid sunburn and heat exhaustion. Sunburn increases the risk of skin cancer. Don’t let sunburn catch you out - whether at home or abroad. Enjoy the sun - but don’t overdo it!

For safe enjoyment of the sunshine, simply follow a few simple steps:

  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
  • Wear sunscreen - at least factor 15 sunscreen applied generously and regularly, especially after swimming
  • Wear loose cotton clothing
  • Drink lots of cool drinks
  • Seek shade to cool down
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat
  • Look out for others especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • Make sure you never burn

For more information on being safe in the sun visit the SunSmart  Opens in a new window website.

Swimming in the sea can be fun and a great form of exercise however it does have its dangers, take a look at this advice and stay safe in the sea.

  • Never swim on your own, no matter how strong a swimmer you may feel that you are.
  • Always wait at least an hour after eating before you go swimming.
  • Never swim after drinking alcohol; alcohol slows your reactions and can impair your ability to judge distances.
  • Always swim parallel with the beach so you can easily get ashore if you have a problem. Don’t swim straight out to sea.
  • Piers, breakwaters and other man-made structures can create very strong currents so avoid swimming near them.
  • Don’t jump into the sea from man-made structures as you cannot tell what is under the water.
  • Pay attention to any warning signs and flags on the beach. If a red flag is being displayed, do not go into the sea.
  • If you are unsure about the meaning of any flags flying or signs on display, check on the information boards or with beach staff where they are present before going in the water.

If you want to use inflatables such as dinghies, air beds and swim rings in the sea take care and consider this safety information.

  • Most inflatables, including dinghies, airbeds and swim rings will come with a warning from the manufacturer that they are unsuitable to be used in the sea.
  • Never allow children to play in the sea in inflatables without adult supervision. Most inflatables have a rope attached which should be tethered or held by an adult.
  • Never take inflatables into the sea when there is an offshore wind blowing. The inflatable will be blown out to sea very quickly. If the beach is manned by us, an orange windsock will be flown to indicate offshore winds and warning signs will be displayed.
  • Pay attention to any warning signs and flags on the beach. If a red flag is being displayed, do not go into the sea.
  • If you are unsure about the meaning of any flags flying or signs on display, check on the information boards or with beach staff where they are present before going in the water.