Boy, 8, died in his sleep hours after bumping his head when he fell off bicycle while not wearing a helmet

Leo Burton, from Gosport in Hampshire, was out playing with his older sister on their bikes when he came off and smacked his head on the concrete ground.

Leo cried and told his mum his "head hurt" but he had no visible cuts or bruises.

He skipped his dinner and was sick in the evening but was put to bed around 7.30pm as usual.

His parents checked on him at 10pm when he was still alive.

Leo's dad Thomas Burton, a landscape gardener, went to his son's bunk-bed when he didn't wake up at 6am like he tended to.

He found his son "purplish" in colour and "bubbling at the mouth".

He shouted for his wife Natalie and tried to perform CPR as an ambulance was called.

Paramedics arrived just after 7am and Leo was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth but he was pronounced dead at 8.45am.

Doctors told Portsmouth Coroner's Court that if Leo's parents had taken him to hospital after the fall he would have been sent home as per the head injury guidelines.

Coroner Samantha Marsh today highlighted the importance of children wearing helmets while riding their bikes.

She said: "If we can have one positive thing coming out of this it's that children should wear their cycle helmets, they are important especially at this time of year when families should be together."

Experts told the hearing Leo suffered a small bleed on the brain and would have likely died in his sleep "without discomfort" hours before he was taken to hospital.

Dr Amy Andrew said: "He was in rigor and had likely been in cardiac arrest for a significant amount of time, a team discussion concluded more resuscitation attempts were not in Leo's best interest as he had likely died hours before coming in the hospital.

"He suffered a fractured skull with bleeding between the skull and the brain, there was a small brain haemorrhage at the brain stem.

"The blood had nowhere to go apart from down into the area that controls our life support."

Dr Andrew said if Leo had been seen immediately by doctors they may have been able to remove the blood from his brain.

But Dr Andrew said: "If he was sent to us on the day we would have sent him home as per the head injury guidelines."

Pathologist Dr Samantha Holden said Leo showed no signs of being gravely ill as he was in a state known as "lucid interval."

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mrs Marsh said: "The fall caused a significant traumatic head injury.

"By taking him to hospital it might not have changed anything, his parents would have been told to keep an eye on him, give him Calpol and give him TLC.

"It was simply too late for Leo by the time he got to hospital. It's one of those unfortunately tragic deaths. No parent should have to bury their kid."

Paying tribute to her son Leo's mum said: "He was a funny and loved kid, he always kept his younger brothers in check. He had a heart of gold and now after he's gone we realise how many people loved him.

"He was just generally clumsy, he would trip over his feet but was very much like a daredevil and this was the first time he didn't wear his helmet. He was generally good on his bike, though.

"He was one of a kind."

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