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 (simply 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.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
childElementCountChrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 3.5IE Full support 9Opera Full support 10Safari Full support 4WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
Support on Document and DocumentFragment
Chrome Full support 29Edge Full support ≤79Firefox Full support 25IE No support NoOpera Full support 16Safari No support NoWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android ? Opera Android ? Safari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes


Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown
Experimental. Expect behavior to change in the future.
Experimental. Expect behavior to change in the future.

See also