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Tragedy highlights the hidden dangers of high heels

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It was reported in the media last week that Sian Thomas, a 38-year-old old pub landlady had died in an extremely rare accident after falling over in high heeled shoes. The inquest heard that she stumbled after catching her heel in the hem of her dress, causing her to fall, sustaining bruising to her knee.

Following this, she joked about her accident on Facebook describing the fall in lighthearted terms. In what the coroner described as "fantastically rare" circumstances, she developed an embolism as a result of the bruise and tragically died two days later from a blood clot on the brain. The verdict was given as accidental death.

This rare but tragic case highlights that sometimes woman's footwear can be inappropriate and downright dangerous. We're not talking about Lady Gaga type skyscrapers, but ordinary stilettos, wedges or even flip-flops worn by woman every day to work and to every kind of social occasion. Women love shoes - its in our nature to look at pictures of A-list celebrities on the red carpet, and covet their Louboutins or Jimmy Choos. 

However a survey carried out some time ago by insurance firm Sheila's Wheels confirmed that 10% of the women surveyed admitted to having an accident or a "near miss" in their vehicle because their shoes had slipped off or got stuck between or underneath the pedals. Astonishingly a quarter of the women surveyed said that they would not bother to change their shoes before they started driving, even if they knew that the footwear they were wearing was unsafe.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents had confirmed that on past figures, around 7,000 trips to Accident and Emergency Departments around the country had been caused by high heeled shoes. This is no doubt also not helped by people consuming alcohol whilst wearing heels. The RoSPA's advice has been, particularly as we are approaching the winter months, and no doubt with the advent of snow and ice across the land, that people should wear lower heels when walking from venue to venue, and change into their "party" shoes when they arrive.

The message seems to be to carry on having a good time but please watch your step!

By personal injury executive, Pauline Smith