Node.childNodes

The Node.childNodes read-only property returns a live NodeList of child nodes of the given element where the first child node is assigned index 0.

Syntax

let nodeList = elementNodeReference.childNodes; 

Examples

Simple usage

// parg is an object reference to a <p> element

// First check that the element has child nodes 
if (parg.hasChildNodes()) {
  let children = parg.childNodes;

  for (let i = 0; i < children.length; i++) {
    // do something with each child as children[i]
    // NOTE: List is live! Adding or removing children will change the list's `length`
  }
}

Remove all children from a node

// This is one way to remove all children from a node
// box is an object reference to an element

while (box.firstChild) {
    //The list is LIVE so it will re-index each call
    box.removeChild(box.firstChild);
}

Notes

The items in the collection of nodes are objects, not strings. To get data from node objects, use their properties. (For example, to get the name of the first childNode: elementNodeReference.childNodes[1].nodeName.)

The document object itself has 2 children: the Doctype declaration and the root element, typically referred to as documentElement. (In (X)HTML documents this is the HTML element.)

childNodes includes all child nodes—including non-element nodes like text and comment nodes. To get a collection of only elements, use ParentNode.children instead.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
DOM
The definition of 'Node.childNodes' in that specification.
Living Standard No change
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Core Specification
The definition of 'Node.childNodes' in that specification.
Obsolete No change
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 Core Specification
The definition of 'Node.childNodes' in that specification.
Obsolete No change
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification
The definition of 'Node.childNodes' in that specification.
Obsolete Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
childNodesChrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 1IE Full support 5Opera Full support 7Safari Full support 1.2WebView Android Full support 1Chrome Android Full support 18Firefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support 10.1Safari iOS Full support 1Samsung Internet Android Full support 1.0

Legend

Full support  
Full support

See also