At no time should your fingers be near the moving sewing machine needle! it is easy to be distracted and lose track of where your fingers are in relation to the moving needle. If a child is learning to sew, I strongly recommend contacting the machine manufacturer or a local sewing machine dealer to obtain a needle guard. A needle guard provides a barrier to prevent fingers from wandering into the path of the sewing machine needle. Needle guards come in many different shapes and sizes (see an assortment here). The needle guard shown in this photo is a very inclusive cover to protect fingers from the barbed needles on a Janome Xpression Needle Felting Machine. To obtain a needle guard that will work best with your sewing machine, your local dealer or the machine manufacturer is your best resource.