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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.

Syntax

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

Example

var foo = document.getElementById("foo"); 
if (foo.childElementCount > 0) { 
    // do something
}

Polyfill for IE8 & IE9 & Safari

This property is unsupported prior to IE9, and also in IE9 & Safari Document, DocumentFragment objects don't have it.

;(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

Specification Status Comment
DOM
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.

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support1 Yes3.59104
Support on Document and DocumentFragment29 ?25 No16 No
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support Yes Yes Yes4 Yes Yes Yes
Support on Document and DocumentFragment Yes Yes ? ? ? No Yes

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: adyouri,