Sweet Gum trees are beautiful, but they do have the gum balls which can pose a walking hazard. There is a spray called Florel that can be used to combat the balls but it has been met with limited success at best. In order to achieve any amount of success, you must catch the tree in a very narrow window of opportunity and you cannot use the spray in windy conditions. This is why it is so important that you consider all aspects of a tree before planting.
Removing the tree would be a last resort and then only after all other solutions had been exhausted or if the location of the tree and the number of gum balls was so large that there was a human risk of someone falling and being seriously hurt.