Jackson County

Dad’s viral post asks how toddler was injured, traumatized at Pascagoula daycare

Dakota Hudson received these injuries at a Pascagoula home daycare when the operator left the children alone, Dakota’s father says.
Dakota Hudson received these injuries at a Pascagoula home daycare when the operator left the children alone, Dakota’s father says. Courtesy Trent Hudson

An 18-month-old boy has been traumatized by being attacked by a 4-year-old when their childcare provider left the room, his father says, and a police investigation is under way.

Dakota Hudson suffered numerous scratches and deep cuts over his face, eyes, head and chest when the childcare provider of a home daycare in Pascagoula left the children unattended, according to his father, Trent Hudson.

“I want the community to know because I want my son to be the last victim,” Hudson said. “I’ll never want another child or parent to endure this.

Hudson’s original post on Facebook has drawn more than 7,500 shares, and has spread to some 60,000 shares through family members’ separate posts.

“We want justice for Dak,” the father said.

Dakota’s mother, Latoye Hudson, noticed his injuries when she went to pick him up after work, he said. She called 911 from the daycare and took her son to a hospital.

The daycare owner, who met the family at the hospital, claims to have been out of the room for just a second, Hudson said. But Hudson and his wife believe it had to have been longer because of the number of deep scratches on Dakota’s head and face.

Even worse than the injuries is his trauma, his father said.

Dakota is normally outgoing and loves to socialize with other kids, but he now clings to family members and shies away from other kids, Hudson said.

“He’s going to be staying with his grandmother for a while,” he said. “He doesn’t want to play with kids like he used to.”

The parents have spoken with the Pascagoula Police Department, the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Mississippi State Health Department, he said.

The state health department provides regulations and licenses to people who have 12 or less children in an operator’s home.

Children are not allowed to be left alone, according to regulations. Also, injuries are to be treated by a person with a valid first-aid certificate, and if a serious injury has occurred, the child must must be taken to a hospital or medical facility.

Hudson says he has been told the daycare is not licensed.

The health department holds hearings on alleged violations. Confirmed violations can be punished by a fine or the facility’s license could be restricted, suspended or revoked.

The daycare operator could not be reached for comment.

The Sun Herald is not identifying the day care because its owner has not been arrested and a health department investigation has not been completed.

Pascagoula Chief Kenny Johnson said the incident is under investigation.

Robin Fitzgerald, 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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