The Node.hasChildNodes() method returns a Boolean value indicating whether the given Node has child nodes or not.


bool = node.hasChildNodes();

Return value

A Boolean that is true if the node has child nodes, and false otherwise.


let foo = document.getElementById('foo');

if (foo.hasChildNodes()) {
  // Do something with 'foo.childNodes'


Here is one possible polyfill:

;(function(prototype) {
  prototype.hasChildNodes = prototype.hasChildNodes || function() {
    return !!this.firstChild;

There are various ways to determine whether the node has a child node:

  • node.hasChildNodes()
  • node.firstChild != null (or just node.firstChild)
  • node.childNodes && node.childNodes.length (or node.childNodes.length > 0)


Specification Status Comment
The definition of 'Node: hasChildNodes' in that specification.
Living Standard

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
hasChildNodesChrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support YesIE Full support 9Opera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes


Full support  
Full support

See also