The firstChild property returns the first child node of the document.
Note: Firefox, and most other browsers, will treat empty white-spaces or new lines as text nodes, Internet Explorer will not. So, in the example below, we have a function that checks the node type of the first child node.
Element nodes has a nodeType of 1, so if the first child node is not an element node, it moves to the next node, and checks if this node is an element node. This continues until the first child node (which must be an element node) is found. This way, the result will be correct in all browsers.
Tip: To read more about the differences between browsers, visit our DOM Browsers chapter in our XML DOM Tutorial.