The ParentNode.childElementCount read-only property returns an unsigned long representing the number of child elements of the given element.

This property was initially defined in the ElementTraversal pure interface. As this interface contained two distinct set of properties, one aimed at Node that have children, one at those that are children, they have been moved into two separate pure interfaces, ParentNode and ChildNode. In this case, childElementCount moved to ParentNode. This is a fairly technical change that shouldn't affect compatibility.


var count = node.childElementCount;
The return value, which is an unsigned long (an integer) type.
An object representing a Document, DocumentFragment, or Element.


var foo = document.getElementById('foo');
if (foo.childElementCount > 0) {
  // Do something

Polyfill for IE8 & IE9 & Safari

This property is completely unsupported prior to IE9. In IE9 and Safari, it is unsupported in the Document and DocumentFragment objects.

;(function(constructor) {
  if (constructor &&
      constructor.prototype &&
      constructor.prototype.childElementCount == null) {
    Object.defineProperty(constructor.prototype, 'childElementCount', {
      get: function() {
        var i = 0, count = 0, node, nodes = this.childNodes;
        while (node = nodes[i++]) {
          if (node.nodeType === 1) count++;
        return count;
})(window.Node || window.Element);


Specification Status Comment
The definition of 'ParentNode.childElementCount' in that specification.
Living Standard Split the ElementTraversal interface in ChildNode and ParentNode. This method is now defined on the latter.
The Document and DocumentFragment implemented the new interfaces.
Element Traversal Specification
The definition of 'ElementTraversal.childElementCount' in that specification.
Obsolete Added its initial definition to the ElementTraversal pure interface and use it on Element.

See also