Crotons are plants of tropical origin and come in various forms, from shrubs to trees. They bare head-turning foliage that comes in many shades of red, orange, yellow, green, brown, purple, and bronze, making them an extremely popular pick for houseplants.
The secret to their radiant leaves is the presence of the substance anthocyanin in them.
Since crotons are such attractive plants and you can find them in several houses and gardens, they are bound to lure kids towards them. Hence, it gets really important to ensure whether they are poisonous to kids or not.
Let’s look into this matter further in this article.
Are Crotons Poisonous to Kids?
Crotons come in numerous varieties, and some of them are poisonous plants.
Even though the toxicity levels of these crotons are not as high as other varieties and species of toxic plants, it is better to take proper precautions when kept as houseplants.
Crotons are not only poisonous to humans; they are also toxic for domestic pets like dogs and cats.
There are namely a few varieties of crotons that are poisonous:
Mammy Croton produces large, thick, shiny, curly leaves in various shades of green, red, purple, and bright yellow.
You can grow it as an outdoor shrub or as a houseplant to add a splash of bright color to your interior! It typically grows up to 4-6 feet tall.
It grows well in partial shade in full sun and if you are a resident of a cold region, be sure to bring the plant indoors in the winter.
Andrew Crotons display long and narrow leaves with creamy white streaks.
With a lot of indirect and bright sunlight, they can exhibit beautiful colors.
These Crotons have toxic leaves, so best keep them away from your kids and pets! They can grow up to 3-5 feet in height and can also be grown on hedges.
Gold Dust Croton
Gold Dust Crotons produce bright-green leafage consisting of elliptical leaves spattered with golden yellow spots.
With proper exposure to bright and indirect sunlight, it can be grown as an indoor plant.
This plant does not enjoy exposure to the scorching midday sun. Its colors look the most vibrant under bright light.
Why Are Crotons Poisonous or Toxic to Kids?
Crotons contain certain toxic substances in their leaves that make them harmful to humans, especially kids. The toxins work in two different ways.
The milky white sap of these croton leaves or stems has a skin-irritant in them, which, when contacted by human skin, cause dermatitis, which is a skin rash.
If a human, especially a child, ingests any part of the plant, it may cause gastrointestinal issues and sometimes even severe abdominal pain and discomfort.
The toxicity of a croton plant is not restricted to its sap or leaves only.
Almost all parts of croton, including leaves, stems, flowers, etc., are toxic. Since the stems and leaves of croton have maximum exposure, you must keep your kids away from them, especially the sap.
Kids are often attracted to the milky white sap of the croton plant out of inquisition, and it can be very harmful to them if they either ingest or come in contact with it.
Even though the plant is not edible, it can easily attract your kids towards it with its vibrant exteriors.
Consumption of any toxic part of the plant or its sap is not fatal but can cause severe irritation inside the mouth.
The initial irritation of the mouth might stop your child from consuming any part of the plant further, but if the irritation sets in a bit late, the child might as well take another bite, and it can turn pretty bad for the little one.
It can result in abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach upset. Other symptoms of exposure to a croton’s toxicity are itchiness, skin staining, rashes, and dermatitis.
How to Keep Your Kids Safe from Croton Plants?
Even though certain crotons are problematic for their toxicity and pose as threats to humans, especially children, certain preventive measures can be taken, and you can do things to keep your kids safe from the ill effects of these plants.
- Keep these crotons in higher locations inside your house, like on top of bookshelves, cupboards, or grow them in hanging pots so that they are out of your kids’ reach.
- Research the poisonous varieties of crotons and avoid buying them if you have kids at your place and if your house interiors do not allow you to keep them out of your kids’ reach. There are numerous non-poisonous varieties of crotons that you can plant.
- Do not let broken leaves or stems of these croton plants breathe openly with their sap dripping.
- Prune and trim parts of these crotons that look wobbly or are on the verge of breaking off. It will reduce the chances of unchecked oozing of their toxic sap and keep your kids safe from being exposed to it.
- If the toxic sap comes in contact with your kids’ skin, then make sure you wash it off instantly by thoroughly rinsing the area of contact with soap and water.
- On occasions of croton leaves or stems consumed by your kids and signs of croton poisoning are observed, contact a doctor or a poison control center immediately.
- Crotons pose as equally beautiful outdoor plants and can glow up your gardens as beautifully as your indoors. If you have kids at your place, opt for planting these toxic varieties of crotons outside the house.
As lovely as they are, certain varieties of croton plants are toxic and should be under supervision.
These toxins are more harmful to children than adults, so you must pay special attention to the kids.
You are often prone to be drawn towards these plants due to their vivid colors.
If you have kids at your place, do make sure you take the necessary steps to keep them safe from these plants.
This article will surely throw ample light on how to maintain a safe environment for your kids around the toxic breeds of crotons.