HTML DOM childNodes Property

Element Object


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

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

Definition and Usage

The childNodes property returns a collection of a node's child nodes, as a NodeList object.

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

Note: Whitespace inside elements is considered as text, and text is considered as nodes. Comments are also considered as nodes.

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

This property is read-only.

Tip: To return a collection of a node's element nodes (excluding text and comment nodes), use the children property.

Tip: element.childNodes[0] will produce the same result as the firstChild property.

Browser Support

childNodes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes



Technical Details

Return Value: A NodeList object, representing a collection of nodes. The nodes 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 child nodes a <div> element has:

var c = document.getElementById("myDIV").childNodes.length;
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Change the background color of the second child node (index 1) of a <div> element:

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

var c = document.getElementById("mySelect").childNodes[2].text;
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Related Pages

HTML DOM reference: node.firstChild Property

HTML DOM reference: node.lastChild Property

HTML DOM reference: node.parentNode Property

HTML DOM reference: node.nextSibling Property

HTML DOM reference: node.previousSibling Property

HTML DOM reference: node.nodeName Property

Element Object