HTML DOM children Property

Element Object


Get a collection of the <body> element's children:

var c = document.body.children;
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More "Try it Yourself" examples below.

Definition and Usage

The children property returns a collection of an element's child elements, as an HTMLCollection object.

The elements in the collection are sorted as they appear in the source code and can be accessed by index numbers. The index starts at 0.

Tip: You can use the length property of the HTMLCollection object to determine the number of child elements, then you can loop through all children and extract the info you want.

The difference between this property and childNodes, is that childNodes contain all nodes, including text nodes and comment nodes, while children only contain element nodes.

Browser Support

The numbers in the table specify the first browser version that fully supports the property.

children 2.0 9.0* 3.5 4.0 10.0

*Note: The children property is fully supported in IE6 to IE8. However, in these versions, it returns element nodes AND comment nodes. IE9+ returns only element nodes.



Technical Details

Return Value: A live HTMLCollection object, representing a collection of element nodes. The elements in the returned collection are sorted as they appear in the source code
DOM Version Core Level 1 Element Object

More Examples


Find out how many children a <div> element has:

var c = document.getElementById("myDIV").children.length;
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Change the background color of the second child element of a <div> element:

var c = document.getElementById("myDIV").children;
c[1].style.backgroundColor = "yellow";
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Get the text of the third child element (index 2) of a <select> element:

var c = document.getElementById("mySelect").children[2].text;
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Loop through all children of <body> and change their background color to red:

var c = document.body.children;
var i;
for (i = 0; i < c.length; i++) {
    c[i].style.backgroundColor = "red";
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Related Pages

HTML DOM reference: childNodes Property

Element Object