A petit mal seizure, also known as an absence seizure, is a condition in which a person loses consciousness for a few seconds or minutes depending on the type of absence seizure he experiences. Absence seizures occur most often in children, and many of them will outgrow this condition by the time they are in their teens and not require treatment, explains the Mayo Clinic. However, if the seizures are severe or interfere with a child's daily life, then the treatment option can be anti-seizure medications, reports WebMD.
Some types of anti-seizure medications are acetazolamide and clonazepam, suggests Johns Hopkins Medicine. Although sometimes there may be no underlying cause for an absence seizure, a seizure may be linked to genetics or a faulty electrical impulse in the brain's nerve cells. Absence seizures can be classified as either typical or atypical seizures. Typical absence seizures start in an abrupt manner and can last for nearly 20 seconds, but the person does not fall to the ground. Atypical seizures tend to last a few minutes, start gradually and the person may fall down, explains WebMD.