These pictures show the horrifying injuries of 13-year-old Archie Dean after he fell from his SCOOTER without wearing protective head gear.
The schoolboy is now speaking out to warn others of the dangers of looking cool to the detriment of safety.
Sports-mad Archie was riding downhill on his way to the local skate park when a stone jammed in his wheel and he plummeted face first to the ground.
He suffered horrendous facial injuries, where his face scraped along the pavement, and was left with a 6 inch gash on his scalp -where his aluminum scooter hit his head as it went over him.
He had over 70 stitches and had three and a half hours of surgery to fix his wounds.
His mum, Lindsay, 42, has spoken of how she had rushed to be with her son when he called her in tears on his mobile phone, to be confronted with every mother’s worst nightmare.
The primary school teacher said: “Archie had only just gone out of the house when he called. I saw his number on my phone and I thought ‘What’s he done now’ but it was horrifying to hear him screaming in panic.”
But when she rushed from their home in Wortley, Leeds, West Yorks., at around 5.30pm, she saw her son laid on the floor around 200 yards away, covered in blood.
She said: “We think he may have been knocked out momentarily, but when I got to Archie he was on all fours, he daren’t move from his position.
“Others had got to him and had called the emergency services and as I held him and blood was just dripping from him – it turned out it was from the wound on his head – and I was panicking because I couldn’t see where it was coming from.
“Archie was muttering and wasn’t making much sense.”
When paramedics arrived at the scene, he was put on a spinal board and rushed to Leeds General Infirmary where doctors couldn’t believe his injuries were sustained from an accident on a normal kids’ scooter.
He was rushed to resus where they looked at his facial injuries, they were calling in a plastics team until they spotted the gash on his head and realised that needed their priority.
Lindsay said: “The doctors told me Archie was lucky that he had fallen and scraped along the floor, suffering friction injuries rather thanhitting his head full on. They said he could have suffered life-changing brain injuries.”
He was in hospital for three days, but it was three weeks before Archie was well enough to be able to go back to school.
Archie still remains emotionally shocked by the accident.
He has only now ventured back out on his £500 custom-made scooter, after the accident in May this year.
Mum-of-two Lindsay said: “He wouldn’t go out on his scooter for ages, it really shook him up. He used to be really daring and brave on his scooter but it has changed him.
“He now finally gone back out on his scooter but he is more cautious and makes sure to wear his headgear. He now knows how important it it.”
Lindsay, and farm worker husband, Simon, 49, have always made sure their kids have had safety gear but as Archie got older he ditched the protective wear because it doesn’t look cool.
Lindsay said: “None of the kids wear it. They go to the skate park every day and do stunts on their scooters and skateboards and they don’t wear headgear. It’s really scary
“Archie could have died. I do worry that as time goes on he’ll leave it off again, but what can I do about it? I can’t follow him 24/7.
“I don’t want to wrap my children in cotton wool, it’s important they get out there and live a fabulous life, but it is important top strike a balance.
“It’s a really great scene, he has plenty of mates and gets out there and has fun. Just the injury side is a bit scary.”
In stark contrast to the expense of his scooter, Archie’s helmet, which has been signed by American skaters who visited the local indoor skate park, was just £30.
Archie’s injuries have started to heal, although he has scaring under his nose in an area where doctors could not remove dead tissue and he is conscious about this.
His passion for scootering means he has returned to the sport, but is too wary of returning to rugby.
He and his friends get together to perform stunts and film them to put on YouTube.
Archie said: “I’ve learnt the hard way that there are dangers to this. You think it won’t happen to you. I know I’m unlucky it happened to me but also lucky I got away with fairly minor injuries.
“I’m hoping I can be an example of why safety is so important. I was injured when I was just riding along. I suppose you could do much worse damage when performing stunts.”
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “We congratulate Archie for using his terrible experience to raise awareness of potential hazards when scooting.
“Scooting is becoming more popular, with many children using a scooter to go to school. Some local authorities have developed training courses for them.
“Accidents and mishaps are rare but there are some hazards inherent in scooting, such as losing control when going downhill, mixing with pedestrians and going past driveways when a vehicle may pull out. Helmets can offer some protection if things go wrong.
“We advise parents to make sure that their children can use a scooter safely and are aware of the hazards that may occur on their route, and to see if their local authority has a scooter training course.