SA Health authorities are unavailable for comments on the unexplained deaths of up to ten babies per year at home.

While safe sleeping measures have significantly cut down the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), scientists believe these remaining deaths could be preventable.

Back in 2007 and 2008 there were a total of 14 unexplained deaths of children below one year of age.

Ever since the introduction of a SIDS campaign in 1991, the death rate due to SIDS has decreased, said Associate Professor Annabelle Chan who has just retired as head of SA Health's Pregnancy Outcome Unit.

There are several factors connected with the 14 deaths in 2007 and 2008 said associate Prof Chan and they include unsafe bedding, teenage mothers, not breast-feeding and heavy alcohol use within the family.

Written in the AMA's current medicSA journal, she stated, These deaths are potentially preventable.

A pilot project developed on creating safe sleeping awareness for health professional has been completed by SIDS and Kids SA.

These safe-sleeping measures include placing the baby on its back, keeping the head and face uncovered, avoiding the use of soft or puffy bedding, not smoking before and after birth and placing the cot near the parents' bed.