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Friday's papers: Parents retain access to tween health records, controversial 'spit hoods' and no room for baby Jesus

Parents retain access to kids' medical records, Finland backs use of prisoner 'spit hoods', and some schools drop religious themes from holiday celebrations.

Pieni tyttö pitää käsiä ristissä pöydällä.
Image: Yle

By 2020, parents will have expanded access to their children's health records in the electronic patient records database Omakanta, Finland's Ministry of Social Affairs and Health told business magazine Talouselämä.

The ministry backtracked its plans to restrict guardians' access to the medical records of minors aged ten and up following criticism by the deputy chancellor of justice and the public earlier this week.

'Spit hoods' await unruly prisoners

Prisons will soon have a legal right to use mesh fabric 'spit hoods' on inmates, reports regional daily Turun Sanomat.

Criticised as cruel and degrading by human rights groups, the device features clear mesh covering the face to prevent biting and spitting by aggressive inmates. Proponents say the helmets prevent infections spread through saliva, such as tuberculosis and antibiotic-resistant MRSA.

At the moment correctional officers in Turku pull pillow cases or t-shirts over inmates' heads to stop spitting, according to the paper.

Parliament is expected to pass a bill on the use of the device early next year.

Schools dropping Christmas story

Capital region schools are adjusting their Christmas traditions to better reflect an increasingly diverse student body, writes national daily Helsingin Sanomat.

In the eastern Helsinki suburb of Itäkeskus, a large primary school opted to drop the 'Angel from heaven' hymn from its repertoire as most of its pupils do not subscribe to Christianity.

Schools are also skipping biblical nativity plays that have been traditionally performed for parents. Nowadays recreations of the the scene of Jesus' birth are left to schools' Christmas church services which are voluntary for students.

One in four Finnish people do not belong to any registered religious community.

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